Mining ministry weighs funding options for exploration
Ministry of Mines is weighing different funding options to help government-owned and -operated mining companies to step up their exploration efforts in a bid to increase the sector's contribution to the national gross domestic product. Ministry insiders say the newly created National Mineral Exploration Trust could provide kseed capitaly for investing in exploration projects, but such funding would not be sufficient. One option the ministry is considering is to approach specialised international lenders such as the International Finance Corporation to act as facilitators for international flotation of bonds for each specific project. The other option, which it is likely to select, is to pave the way for firms so that they can seek funds in financial markets through flotation of rupeedenominated bonds with longterm maturity.